As a UArts Photography student, you can study photography in as many different ways as you want: fine art, editorial, fashion, commercial, documentary, studio practice and more.
Our unique visiting artist and speaker series bring top photographers, curators, photo editors, industry vendors and gallery directors to the University, where you can meet them one-on-one. You'll take regular trips to NYC for gallery visits and major industry expos. And you'll also have the chance to showcase your work in our own galleries.
Through our internship program, students apply their knowledge in various studios, galleries and production houses in the city and beyond. And you'll work on real-world projects for outside companies and institutions — in one project, students shot all of the photographs for the annual report of one of Philadelphia’s major museums, the Academy of Natural Sciences.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic nationwide social shutdown during the spring 2020 semester, the BFA Photography program candidates at University of the Arts were unable to present their thesis exhibition in a physical form. Over the past year, these 17 students have demonstrated a commitment to developing thoughtful, provocative and accomplished work. The projects are diverse, comprehensive and range in approach to the photographic medium while maintaining the highest standards for the craft.
University of the Arts is featured three times in Peerspace’s list of the top 12 fashion photographers in Philadelphia. Trevor Dixon BFA ’89 (Photography), Marcus Branch BFA ’14 (Photography) and Senior Lecturer Shawn Theodore are included in the list, which also provides the photographers’ Instagram handles so users can check out the breadth and beauty of their work over time.
Theodore’s images are on exhibit at UArts in the Photography Program Gallery, Terra Hall, 15th floor, through Sept. 29. A description of his work notes that it “makes connections that merge daily observations into the power of myth; drawing on the power of the internal metaphysical dichotomies of the African American psyche as a retelling of missing narratives, a practice he calls ‘Afromythology.’”
As an artist I hope to light the world with my work, as well as inspire those who have ever felt a disconnect from everything, to give chances to those who are underrepresented and overlooked in the modeling world and to express love and positivity.
My name is German Ayala Vazquez, and I am 30 years old from Puerto Rico. After working multiple corporate jobs that provided financial stability but not internal happiness, I decided to move from New York to Philadelphia in hopes of finding my niche. I have always been an artist at heart, whether it was drawing, music, or fashion. I knew that eventually I wanted to finish school in something I loved and was passionate about, so I decided to attend The Community College of Philadelphia, where they gave me all the tools that I needed to kickstart my love for fashion photography and art itself.
After successfully completing a two-year program, I saw that many of my friends attended UArts, so I decided to check it out. After seeing the art and how much of a united community the university was, I knew I would fit right in. After almost two years of trying to pay for school, I was blessed to finally able to study in the Photo program at UArts, and I must say that it has allowed me to touch on certain areas of photography that I never intended to!
Georgia Wescott is a Photographer with additional interests in design, business, and more. In her work, she aims to highlight the beauty of people through the use of vibrant colors and dynamic posing. Features include the cover and spread in the July 2018 issue of Restaurant Informer, 3 works in the UArts 2018 Womxn Exhibition, 1 work in the Center City Gallery Dilworth Park 2018 Exhibition, 3 works in the 2019 issue of Underground Pool, and more.
Branch’s work aims to celebrate people of color, encourage diversity, and to contribute a positive perspective of the often misrepresented.
- The Photographic Journal
Marcus Branch says "UArts helped me to develop not only my work, but my professionalism and ability to network in the fields that I infiltrate."
Marcus's work has been published in Paper magazine, Interview magazine, W magazine, i-D magazine, i-D Japan, i-D Germany, and on VICE.com. He was also featured in Conde Nast’s First LGBTQ publication, THEM.
Marcus was deemed one of the “Next Generation of Instant Photographers” by world-renowned photographer Ryan McGinley, and he was featured in the “New Originals” gallery exhibition with Polaroid Originals at Chesterfield Gallery in NYC, curated by McGinley.
University of the Arts Photography students work in both digital and traditional formats, with access to the program's full range of techniques, facilities and media tools — the same top-of-the-line gear the professionals use. You can create your own artistic vision while developing solid technical skills.
Click the images below to read more.
In the Photography major, you'll study with top professionals with extensive experience in a wide range of concentrations, including fine art, editorial, fashion, commercial, documentary and studio practice.
Click the image below to read more.
Sample Courses in the Photography Major
About the Curriculum
The Photography program is designed to provide practical professional training balanced with a fine-art aesthetic. Through our choice of visiting lecturers, gallery exhibitions, visiting artists, internships, diversity of faculty, and significant engagement and outreach with the professional, fine art, and photo education community, we offer a rich and diversified educational experience.
Student who complete the Photography program:
- Demonstrate independent, creative problem solving and original thinking. They exhibit a distinct and personal approach to art making.
- Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary issues and historical precedents. They have an appreciation for experimentation/innovation as well as for the traditions of making as applied to contemporary photographic practices.
- Acquire and demonstrate the professional skills needed to be successful as practicing artists, entrepreneurs, and productive citizens, including further study at the graduate level.
- Are able to talk and write about art (including their own work) critically, intelligently, and with considerable insight.
- Acquire the level of technical skill required for them to reach their career goals in an ever-evolving medium. They establish a studio practice appropriate to their ideas and demonstrate a deep familiarity with materials and processes.
Click the image below to read more.
Exhibits & Visiting Artists
Each year, the Photography program at UArts illuminates and inspires its students and the public through the work of exhibiting and visiting artists.
Shawn Theodore (Exhibition & Lecture)
John Carlano (Exhibition & Lecture)
Amy Giese (Lecture)
Amit Elkayam (Lecture)
Mary Magseman & Stephan Hillerbrand (Exhibition)
Nelson Morales (Exhibition & Lecture)
Archive 192 (Exhibition & Lecture)
Stephen Foster (Lecture)
Kris Sanford (Exhibition)
Patrick Nagatani (Screening with Lynn Estomin)
Stacey Tyrell (Exhibition & Lecture)
Zora Murff (Exhibition)
Henry Hornstein (Lecture)
Matt Eich (Lecture)
Daniella Zalcman (Lecture)
Hồng-Ân Trương (Lecture)
Janet Delaney (Exhibition)
Jill Freedman (Exhibition)
George Krause ’58 (Exhibition)
James Singewald (Exhibition)
Kurt Tong (Exhibition)
Start your application
Begin your application today. Our admissions team will help you throughout the process.
See UArts for yourself
The best way to get to know UArts is by visiting our campus in person. Come see a show, visit a gallery, and get to know the neighborhood.
Not sure where to start?
We're glad you want to learn more. Our admissions team is happy to send additional information about our school.